Historical photo of Hastings Street, Noosa.
Historical photo of Hastings Street, Noosa. Contributed

Restaurateur's 'love affair' with Noosa never died

ALTHOUGH then just a sand track with few buildings Bryan and I had no idea that Hastings Street was to become, years later, such a dominant feature of our lives.

We revelled in running over the sand hill to the beach and surfing in the clear waters of Laguna Bay. That sand hill is now the carpark near the lifesavers building.

We explored the river from its mouth at the end of the street and, on late afternoons, would walk around to what is now Noosa National Park.

When we asked the local shopkeeper if there was any nightlife he pointed us in the direction of Tewantin. That night we drove our little Morris along Gympie Terrace riverfront and over the old bridge into Tewantin.

The Royal Mail Hotel had just opened a modern outdoor beer garden...such an innovation for Tewantin! We enjoyed a beer shandy there and walked across the street to the picture theatre to watch the latest movie.

When the time came to leave Hastings Street and Noosa we vowed to return and live there some day.

And so we did...even though it took another 20 years! There were weekends and holidays in between but our desire to return never left us.

In 1979 we bought Dooley's seafood restaurant at number one Hastings Street and immersed ourselves in community life of Noosa.

Everyone seemed to know everyone else in that street and it was a friendly atmosphere.

We started the first wine waiters' race down the street when staff would race each other carrying a full tray of filled wineglasses in one hand. That first race was won by Darrel from Dooleys!

With other restaurant owners, and at the request of organisers Dave Power and Joe Gilbert, we sponsored the first Noosa Triathalon and watched it become the world classic it is today. And we watched with bated breath, as a king tide, in the aftermath of cyclonic rain, washed seawater down Tingirana lane into Hastings Street.

Some mornings, after setting up the restaurant, we would buy a one dollar burger from Bettys Burgers and sit at the waters edge at the end of the Spit and marvel at the beauty of the place.

We loved that area so much that we decided that, when the time came, that this was where we wanted our ashes spread.

Our love affair with Noosa never wavered. Our children were married here and our grandchildren are Noosa born and bred. Three generations of us planted trees at the reclamation and rejuvenation of the old caravan site at Hastings Street and so a part of us is forever embedded in that street.

Noosa and Hastings Street gave so much to us and we hope that we have returned that gift with service and much affection.